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Breast Cancer Relapse to be Predicted by Blood tests


A new study claims that scientists have developed a blood test that can detect the relapse of early stage breast cancer that has been treated, thus helping to save lives, Tech Times reports.

Scientists say that the test may identify returning tumors a full eight months before they are detected in medical scans.

"We have shown how a simple blood test has the potential to accurately predict which patients will relapse from breast cancer, much earlier than we can currently," says Nicholas Turner at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, lead author of a study appearing in the journal Science Translational Medicine, reports Tech times.

The test will help doctors in deciding who is at risk of developing a secondary cancer following initial treatment.

The researchers studied 55 patients who had undergone chemotherapy followed by surgery for early stage breast cancer. The researchers took blood samples from them regularly for two years and analyzed the samples for tumor. Cancer returned in 15 of the patients and was accurately predicted through the blood tests in 12 of them around eight months before the cancer was detectable in scans.

"If we can identify better who is at risk of relapse, we can direct treatments to prevent relapse specifically to them," Turner said "Women who still have tumor DNA detectable have a high risk of going on to relapse."

However, the experimental test is still years away from common use.

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